How to Manage Resources During Jira Sprint Planning?

February 14, 2024

Agile methodologies have revolutionized how projects are managed, emphasizing flexibility, continuous improvement, and most importantly, efficiency. Jira, a powerful tool designed to streamline sprint planning and resource management, is at the heart of this agile revolution.

Agile methodologies have revolutionized how projects are managed, emphasizing flexibility, continuous improvement, and most importantly, efficiency. Jira, a powerful tool designed to streamline sprint planning and resource management, is at the heart of this agile revolution. This article explores the strategic advantage of Jira Sprint Planning and how it can significantly improve project efficiency.

Introduction to Sprint Planning in Jira

Sprint planning is a critical phase in agile project management, where teams prioritize tasks and set objectives for the upcoming sprint. This process is crucial for setting clear, achievable goals and ensuring that the team's efforts are aligned with the project's overall objectives.

During sprint planning in Jira, teams typically:

  • Review the Product Backlog: Teams examine the backlog to identify priority items that align with the project's goals and are feasible to complete within the sprint.
  • Estimate Tasks: Using Jira's estimation features, such as story points or time estimates, teams assess the effort required for each task, facilitating a realistic understanding of what can be achieved.
  • Define Sprint Goal: Clear objectives are established, providing the team with a focused direction for the sprint.
  • Create Sprint Backlog: Selected tasks are moved from the product backlog to the sprint backlog, which becomes the team's commitment for the sprint.

With its comprehensive suite of features and additional tools, Jira Software facilitates this process by offering a platform where tasks can be easily created, tracked, and managed. It not only simplifies the planning phase but also enhances collaboration among team members, ensuring everyone is aligned with the sprint goals.

The Importance of Resource Management in Sprint Planning

Effective resource management is pivotal for the success of any project. It involves allocating the right tasks to team members, considering their skills, workload, and availability. This strategic allocation ensures that work is balanced, preventing burnout and underutilization. Jira's resource management features allow project managers to visualize team workloads, making it easier to distribute tasks evenly.

Jira's intuitive interface and robust features streamline task assignments and time tracking, two critical resource management components. By providing a clear overview of each team member's workload and deadlines, Jira helps project managers make informed decisions about task assignments, ensuring that resources are utilized efficiently.

How to Plan Future Sprints and Manage Active Sprints in Jira?

Clear communication and collaboration are the backbones of agile project management. Jira enhances these aspects by providing shared boards where team members can see task progress and updates, fostering a collaborative environment that encourages teamwork and transparency.

Jira offers different project templates with special project boards crafted for different workflows.

Jira Project Templates

For example, a development team that adheres to agile practices can choose between Kanban and Scrum Boards.

Creating the Jira Kanban Project and Scrum Project

Kanban boards don't provide the possibility to track an active sprint or create the next sprint, but the Scrum Boards do.

Scrum Boards in Jira

Scrum Boards in Jira are visual project management tools designed to help teams track the progress of the Scrum project, facilitate backlog grooming and task management, and implement the Scrum framework effectively. They provide a dynamic and interactive representation of a team's workflow, allowing for real-time updates and collaboration. Key features of Scrum Boards in Jira include:

  • Customizable Columns: Reflecting the stages of the team's workflow, columns can be customized to match the specific process stages, from "To Do" to "Done."
  • Drag-and-Drop Functionality: This feature allows team members to easily update the status of tasks by moving them between columns, facilitating a clear visual representation of progress.
  • Sprint Burndown Charts: Track progress with reports and charts. Integrated reporting tools, such as burndown charts, provide insights into the team's progress and the remaining work, helping to ensure that the sprint is on track.
  • Filtering and Search: Teams can filter tasks by various criteria, such as assignee or priority, making it easier to focus on specific areas of work.
Jira Scrum Board with Active Sprints

As we can see from the screenshot, the Scrum Board with Backlog is a great tool showing everything: active sprints, parallel sprints, multiple future sprints, sprint issues with status and assignees, and task estimates. It's also very easy to start sprint or add new issue directly from the board:

Creating the Future Sprint in Jira

Utilizing Scrum Boards in Jira not only enhances transparency and accountability but also empowers teams to adapt quickly to changes, ensuring agile, responsive project management. Whether for planning sprints, daily stand-ups, or sprint reviews, Jira's Scrum Boards are invaluable for maintaining the focus and momentum needed to achieve sprint goals.

In Jira users can find numerous Agile reports that also include a Sprint Report:

Jira Reports

Managing Team's Capacity: Main Challenges

While Jira offers a robust framework for sprint planning and agile project management, it is not without its challenges, particularly when it comes to resource management. Effective resource management is crucial for the successful delivery of projects, ensuring that the right people are working on the right tasks at the right time. However, several common challenges can arise when planning sprints in Jira, impacting the efficiency and productivity of the team.

Limited Visibility into Team Capacity

Jira focuses on tasks and progress tracking but may not offer comprehensive features for understanding team capacity and availability directly within sprint planning. This can lead to overcommitment or underutilization of resources, affecting project timelines and team morale.

Complexity in Balancing Workloads

Without clear insights into individual workloads and availability, it can be challenging to distribute tasks evenly among team members. This can result in some team members being overloaded while others are underutilized.

Difficulty in Tracking Skills and Expertise

Jira's task-centric approach may not adequately account for the specific skills or expertise required for certain tasks, making it difficult to assign tasks to the most suitable team members efficiently.

Inflexibility with Changes in Resource Availability

Teams often face changes in resource availability due to unexpected absences, shifting priorities, or external dependencies. Adjusting plans in Jira to accommodate these changes can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

However, users can address these challenges with the help of the special Jira add-ons. Integrating Jira with dedicated resource planning tools to gain better visibility into team capacity and availability. This can help in making informed decisions while planning sprints.

For example, ActivityTimeline for Jira is a resource management and time-tracking tool for Jira that facilitates long- and short-term planning, helps to track projects, tasks, and teams in a single place with a comprehensive dashboard, advanced timesheets and dozens of resource and project reports.

Resource Planning with ActivityTimeline

Through its all-encompassing Planning Dashboard, you're empowered to oversee various teams and projects, integrating Jira tasks from a unified interface. Its seamless integration with Jira allows for the scheduling of existing tasks or the creation of new ones directly from the dashboard, ensuring no detail is overlooked.

Timeline Planning on Different Levels

This platform delivers vibrant and interactive visuals, such as timelines for both teams and individuals, facilitating efficient tracking and management of project assignments and crucial milestones. Visual timelines present Jira tasks at different phases, offering clear insight into their progress. This layout identifies who is working on specific tasks and their projected completion dates. Structured similarly to a calendar, it aids users in planning over different time frames.

ActivityTimeline Dashboard

The application's dashboard introduces a unique Team Panel, a feature that significantly enhances its utility. This panel allows for the merging or separation of team and individual timelines, providing extensive flexibility in planning and task allocation. It excels in depicting each stage of the process in detail and enables the assignment of tasks to teams rather than to individual members.

Team Panel in ActivityTimeline

With the help of the team panel, it's very easy to manage both teams' and users' tasks, as you can choose a combined view and plan for future sprints on different levels and different timeframes:

Sprint Planning in ActivityTimeline

With ActivityTimeline, you can easily plan and assign tasks from the sprint backlog to the teams and synchronize them with your Jira. You can discover more information on Sprint Planning and Jira synchronization with ActivityTimeline in this video:

Capacity & Availability Tracking

Additionally, each team or user timeline includes a workload indicator, offering an overview of the collective workload of the team or an individual user. Workload indicators serve to ascertain if the workload is evenly distributed or if certain tasks need to be reassigned or delayed to prevent missed deadlines and burnout. These indicators can also be switched to show availability mode:

Workload Indicators in ActivityTimeline

Users can record hours worked directly within the app. Both workload and worklog information are stored and can subsequently be utilized in generating resource reports and team timesheets.

Book Resources and Manage Positions

ActivityTimeline includes features for managing holidays and custom events, such as sick leave, days off, holidays, bookings, placeholders, overtime, and more. It also allows for the creation of internal issues.

For instance, if you're in the process of defining a project's scope and prefer not to establish Jira issues due to potential changes in the plan, you can simply set up internal placeholders for Jira tasks and allocate a prospective resource to handle it. Once the plan is finalized, you can either remove this placeholder or convert it directly into a Jira issue from within the app.

Custom Events in ActivityTimeline

Or easily reserve the necessary resources for upcoming tasks with just a few clicks:

Resource Bookings in ActivityTimeline

Project Managers can also assign positions and skills to team members, so they can always find the needed person to complete specific tasks, or quickly create teams based on some skills and positions:

User Skills and Postions in ActivityTimeline
User Skills and Positions Management in ActivityTimeline

Team Timesheets and Reports

Effective planning consistently requires monitoring team performance. ActivityTimeline facilitates the generation of varied Timesheet reports, covering aspects such as project, user, issue, and epic.

Timesheets in ActivityTimeline

The app's reports can help with resource distribution and monitoring during sprint planning. Just choose the team, project, and timeframes and quickly understand resource utilization:

Report in ActivityTimeline

Or track user capacity with visual charts:

Charts in ActivityTimeline


To sum up, mastering resource management during Jira sprint planning is essential for agile project success. By leveraging Jira's comprehensive features alongside powerful add-ons like ActivityTimeline, teams can effectively navigate the challenges of sprint planning, ensuring balanced workloads and optimized team performance. This approach not only streamlines project management but also enhances team collaboration and productivity, embodying the agile principles of flexibility and continuous improvement.


Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about ActivityTimeline? Get in touch
Ready to get started?
Start your 30-day free trial. No credit card required.